• Born:
  • Birthplace: Fiction
  • Best known as:

    Hero of the adventure novel King Solomon's Mines

Allan Quatermain Biography

Allan Quatermain was the rifle-toting, native-befriending, treasure-seeking hero of King Solomon's Mines and other adventures by H. Rider Haggard. Quatermain's primary milieu was Africa, where he struggled to keep a proper Englishman's stiff upper lip while hunting elephants, battling or befriending Zulus, chasing diamonds, discovering lost civilizations, and facing other thrills and terrors of the mysterious "Dark Continent." The Quatermain character first appeared in 1885, and Haggard brought him back in the novel Allan Quatermain (1887) and many other stories. A century later, Quatermain was resurrected in the 2001 conglomeration-of-heroes graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill. Though he is not always well-remembered now -- Rider's stories are considered racist, sexist, or just plain inappropriate by some modern readers -- Quatermain had a big influence on such 20th-century masters of derring-do as Tarzan and Indiana Jones.

Extra credit:

Actors who have played Quatermain in movie versions of King Solomon's Mines include Richard Chamberlain (1985), Stewart Granger (1950) and Cedrick Hardwicke (1937)... Sean Connery played Quatermain in the 2003 film The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, based on the 2001 comic book by Alan Moore... Like Sherlock Holmes, Quatermain was bumped off by his creator (in 1887's Allan Quatermain) but returned to life in later adventures... Alan Quartermaine, an unrelated figure with a slightly altered name, is a regular character in the long-running TV soap opera General Hospital.

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Photo of Lyle Lovett with wrinkled face and wild hair, up close